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and the Great War 

By John M'Cartney 

Manager, Heart of Midlothian Football Club, Ltd, 


Price Sixpence, 



with which is incorporated 

44 The 4 Hearts ' and the Army M 


Manager. Heart of Midlothian F. C. Ltd. 







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The " Hearts ' and 
the Great War 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 


3S these pages are being prepared for the press , 
the nations are being prepared for Peace. It 
comes not on leaden wings. Upon the long night of our 
struggle, " the dawn came up like thunder." Between 
the promise and the realisation of Peace, there has been 
no prolonged interval. We are quietly and surely 
moving into the time when the sword shall be beaten 
into a ploughshare ; into the realisation of the poets 
dream : — 

"Till the war-drum throbbed no longer, and 
the battle flags were furled, 

In the Parliament of man, the Federation of 
the World; 

There, the common sense of most shall hold a 
fretful realm in awe, 

And the kindly earth shall slumber, lapt in 
universal law." 

This book is dedicated to our heroes " who fought 
and conquered and died, without knowing that they had 
conquered," and, equally, to their brave comrades who 
fought and conquered and lived to return to us. 

Tynecastle 'Park, Edinburgh, 
December 1918. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

' Wild beats my heart to trace your step, 
Whose ancestors in days of yore, 
Through hostile ranks and ruined gaps 
Old Scotia's bloody Lion bore ; 
E'en I who sing in rustic lore, 
Haply, my sires, have left their shed, 
And faced grim Danger s loudest roar, 
Bold-following where your fathers led." 

HITS did Burns, in his Address to Edinburgh, 
pay tribute to the Capital's loyal and 
patriotic sons. » 

Down through the centuries Edinburgh 
has been the Alpha and the Omega of all 
things martial, and, especially so, when 
liberty was threatened. How often have 
the armies gone furth the City walls to 
do or die for freedom ! The spirit pre-eminent in the ante- 
cedents of the City lives to-day. This is proved by the fact 
that, before compulsion, four-and-forty thousand of Edin- 
burgh's bravest and best had taken the oath of determination 
to protect Democracy. The cry of outraged France and 
Belgium fell on fertile ears. The response was eager and 

"For while we sing 'God save the King,' 
We'll ne'er forget the people." 

The democracies of France, Belgium, and other oppressed 
nationalities must be saved, and from nowhere on God's 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

earth did the clarion call resound more clearly and with 
better results than in " Auld Reekie." Every grade of the 
City's manhood gave up everything for the precious oppor- 
tunity of engaging in the fight for the greatest of causes— 
the freedom of the universe. They have given their lives 
with a readiness and an abandon in account with the 
required needs of the hour. It may with truth be said 
that " kings for such a tomb might wish to die." 

Having made it clear that the stampede to join the colours 
was general, it is my intention to touch only upon the doings 
of one particular section of the community, and that is, the 
professional football player. 

In the early days of *the war the most virulent, vitriolic, 
and irrelevant attacks were hurled at the heads of the pro- 
fessionals. Their class was anathema to lords, bishops, 
curates, and all grades of professional teachers. Fireside 
soldiers and critics exhausted their vocabulary of invective. 
The entire cosmopolitan crew of kill-joys and motley parasites 
were beside themselves. How these parasites find a landing 
on the bodies of responsible people is one of the seven wonders. 
They are neither fitted for fighting nor willing to fight, but 
their rudimentary, fragmentary, and hearsay knowledge of 
things has the unfortunate tendency to further distort their 
limited powers of observation. History tells us that whilst 
Divines insisted on discussing plans of battle, interspersed 
with dictums and nostrums of theology, the fight was lost. 
Generals could not avoid the parasite — even in the direst 
hour of danger. In well-regulated communities it is fated 
that a parasite or a kill-joy should reside. Is the evil, for 
evil it is, a necessary one ? His business is to use his time 
in finding out what folks want mostly, and then utilise his 
puny powers, for all they are worth, to obtain prohibition of 
such want. 

Amid all the hubbub of who ought and who ought not 
to go, the players of the Heart of Midlothian Football Club 
were closeted with their directors. The men were willing 
to join up if the directors assented to a break in the contracts. 
Needless to say, the directors, being a profoundly patriotic 
body, readily agreed. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Then followed the sensational recruiting of sixteen of the 
finest players in the country. A sum of £4 per week was 
nothing to them as compared with a shilling a day and free- 
dom for all. The fire spread rapidly. Four hundred share- 
holders, ticketholders, and supporters joined with the players 
in forming, in the record time of eight days, as fine a Battalion 
of Royal Scots — to wit the 16th — as ever graced the British 
Army. What matter the huge liabilities of the directors and 
shareholders ; the sacrifice of generous wages ; the honours 
and cups of Associations and Leagues, etc. Everything 
selfish or personal was thrown aside, obliterated and forgotten, 
in the raising of the greatest national monument it is possible 
for any athletic or other organisation to build and possess. 

The telegram from one of the City's chief notabilities 
announcing what had happened at T3iiecastle Park brought 
forth the exclamation at Whitehall : — " Scotland has done 
splendidly." Thus did Edinburgh with its " Hearts " speak 
for Scotland. 

Amid these happenings, bishops on the ecclesiastical 
screen were showing " the portals of Hell open wide," lords 
of creation were supplicating for Zeppelin raids on football 
grounds, and sleek skins were bellowing for other fellows' 
hides. How magnanimous ! Truly, football players and 
supporters must have marvelled at the attentions of Snobo- 
cracy. The linking up of so large a body of Heart of Mid- 
lothian material with the Army has welded an unbreakable 
chain of mutual love and comradeship. Whilst the Club 
gave its all to the Forces, the officials are not unmindful of 
the reciprocal and kindly treatment meted out by officers and 
men in those days. A club so depleted as the (i Hearts " 
had need of assistance, and in this connection, the names 
of Brigadier-General Sir Robert Cranston, K.CV.O.. Col. Sir 
George M'Crae, D.S.O., Lieut.-Col. H. J. H. Inglis, Col. Clark, 
Lieut .-Col. C. E. Johnston, Lieut.-Col. K. Whitton, Major 
M'Lennan, and many others will for ever be associated with 
the Club's history. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 


Lieut. A. B. Ness Royal Scots {twice wounded, pro- 

moled on the field.) 

Lieut. T. Low Seaforths {twice wounded, 

now discharged), 

Staff-Sergt. J. H. Frew, R.G.A. (C. of E.). 

Sergt, D. Currie Royal Scots {killed in action). 

Sergt. N. Moreland ,. {thrice wounded). 

Corpl. A. E. Briggs 


{severely wounded, 
now discharged). 

Corpl. T. Gracie 


{died on service). 

Corpl. N. FlNDLAY 


L.-Cpl. J. Boyd 


{killed in action). 

Pte. H. Wattie. 


{killed in action)* 

Pte. W. R. Wilson 



Pte. E. E. Ellis 

5 J 

{killed in action). 

Pte. P. Crossan 


{thrice wounded). 

Pte. J. H. Speedie 


{killed in action). 

Driver G. L. Sinclair 


Pte. R. Preston 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Since then many ol the Club's players have joined up, 
till at the moment thirty-one are included in the Roll of 
Honour. The other fifteen are as follow : — 

Gunner C. D. Blackhall, R.G.A. ist Lowland (C. of E.). 

Sapper C. Hall wood, 
Pte. J. Hazeldean 

Pte. J. Martin 

Sergt. G. P. Miller 
Pte. E. M'Guire 
Gunner J. Mackenzie 
Pte. J. Wilson 
Pte. P. J. Wkyte 
Sergt. J. Allan 
Pte. H. Graham 
Gunner R. Mercer 

L.-Cpl. J. Macdonald 
Bombardier J. Gilbert 
Pte. R. Malcolm 

Royal Enginners. 

Royal Scots (severely wounded, 
now discharged). 
„ (wounded, now dis- 


„ (wounded). 


Royal Scots (twice wounded). 
Gloucester Regiment. 
Royal Scots (killed in action). 
R.G.A. ist Lowland (C.of E.), 

Royal Scots. 


Machine Gun Corps. 

Sacrifice and Honour are here depicted in all their glorious 
transcendency. Danger and Death had no terrors for these 
brave lads. The great illusion that they had ''joined up" 
for the fun of the thing, or as mere bravado, remains eternally 
blasted. Only those continually in touch with the heroes 
knew of what resolute stuff they were made. Grit, stamina, 
strength, and determination permeated with the instinct 
of a sportsman and the cult of a gentleman, confirmed them 
as exemplary members of our great free community. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

To those who have made the supreme sacrifice we bow 
in silent reverence. Their duty, well and truly done, com- 
mands our universal respect and humble obeisance. They 
sleep where they fell. The little earthen mounds dotted 
over the battle-scarred fields of France and Belgium are for 
ever hallowed. " Silent as the grave " is a commonplace. 
Yet here are tombs that cry aloud for freedom and the saving 
of democracy ; for vengeance against the usurper and the 
enslaver ; concrete evidences of heroic deeds of valoui and 

Well might the poet sing : — 

" Yes — let me like a soldier fall." 

The noblest of deaths — the Crusader's grandest consum- 

" Their Coriolanus-like pride declared itself most sternly 
ui the thickest press of foes. Never under the impenetrable 
mail of a Crusader beat hearts of more intrepid mettle than 
those within the stoic panoply, that armed the breasts of our 

Shall we ever look upon their like again? 

To those yet spared us we extend our hand. Their trials 
and vicissitudes in the great drama are indelibly impressed 
upon our minds. Many have, through wounds and stress 
of battle, perforce laid down their arms. They have fought 
the good fight, and in their retirement, let us wish them all 
the solace and comfort they so richly deserve. As Burns 
appealed : — 

" The poor brave sodger ne'er despise, 
Nor count him as a stranger; 
Remember he's bis Country's stay 
In day and hour of danger." 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Vhe TUttreturntng 3Brave. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 


A native of Kilwinning, Ayrshire, where he was born, 13th August 
1892. He was assistant to an elder brother as a hairdresser. Of 
a football family, he came quickly into prominence as a junior, 
and was early taken hold of by the Heart of Midlothian. Like 
most of the Club's players at this period, he gave decided evidence 
of obtaining highest honours. A strong, resolute player, he brooked 
no nonsense, and took the game keenly and seriously. His natural 
proclivities reproduced themselves in his Army career, and the 
" historic sixteen " gave no one more likely to rise to fame and 
position in His Majesty's Forces. Duncan soon became a Sergeant. 
Whilst gallantly leading his platoon at the Somme offensive, 
ist July 1916, he fell to rise no more. His brother Robert played 
for Bury and the Hearts, whilst another brother has been for years 
a tower of strength to Leicester Fosse. Mr James Currie, the 
father of the family, was a goalkeeper of more than local promi- 

The "Hearts'' and the Great War 

Born at Greenlaw, Berwickshire, on 2nd March 1887. Removed 
with his parents to Edinburgh at an early age. Always keen on 
football, he was a member of the first Dairy School team to win 
the Inspector's Cup. He played for Wemyss Athletic and Tranent 
Juniors ere joining the ranks of the Heart of Midlothian. A 
whole-hearted player was John. A joiner to trade, he worked 
with Messrs J. Duncan & Son, Grove Street. Shortly after the 
outbreak of war he enlisted in the 9th Royal Scots. He fell at 
Roeux, near Arras, on 22nd April 19 17. His home was at Spring- 
well Place, Edinburgh. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

First saw the light at Glasgow on 12th June 1889. Educated 
there, he came to be by occupation a meat salesman and book- 
keeper. Tom belonged to the small but very select company of 
first-class centre-forwards. He saw service with Airdrieonians, 
Morton, and Liverpool ere finding his way to Tynecastle. It is 
believed that his best football was displayed in the Maroon colours. 
Expressive of a well-reasoned mind ; calm and gentle in his 
deportment, he was a prime favourite with all who knew him. 
One of the now historic sixteen, he gave early promise of a suc- 
cessful Army career. Fate, however, was cruelly unkind, and, 
contracting an illness which ultimately beat him down, he died 
at Stobhill War Hospital, Glasgow, 23rd October 1915. A brother 
fell at the Dardanelles. His widowed mother resides at Dennis- 
toun r Glasgow, 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Born at Seafield, Livingstone, West Loth'an, on 14th November 
1894. Educated at West Calder Public School, he passed through 
the Higher Grade. He was a shale mine underground oncost 
worker. A player of great promise, his only senior club was the 
Heart of Midlothian. One of the earliest to join the 16th Royal 
Scots, he proved himself a thoroughly capable soldier. His abilities 
betokened quick promotion, which doubtless would have been 
fully realised but for his all too sudden end. He gave his life 
at the battle of the Somme, 3rd August 1916. His brother Archie 
for a considerable period was the Heart's goalkeeper. The parental 
home is at West Calder. 


The " Hearts " and the Great War 

Born at Edinburgh on 17th November 1893. He was by profession 
an Insurance Clerk with one of the largest concerns of its kind in 
the City. He clung to his amateur status, and was a great player 
in his day. Like the generality of our men he was modest, un- 
assuming, and kindly. When the call of Country came he was 
ready, willing and anxious to serve the cause of right. Joining 
the Cameron Highlanders, he was early in France. Jimmy, as 
he was familiarly known, came through several severe battles, 
and ultimately fell fighting at Loos, 25th September 1915. His 
only brother, Lieut. John, has since fallen in action. The parents 
of these two splendid lads live at Polwarth Gardens. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Born at Sprowston, near Norwich, on 30th November 1885. A 
boot operator by trade, he early gave promise of a successful 
football career. He became a professional for Norwich City, 
and then migrated to Barnsley ere reaching Edinburgh. A big 
powerful player, yet withal scrupulously fair. Another of the 
gallant band that joined the 16th Royal Scots. He made the 
supreme sacrifice at the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916. He 
left a widow — an Edinburgh lady — and a little girl born after 
he went to France. His three brothers are on active service. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 


Born at Edinburgh, 2nd June 1893. In the first flight of players 
— in fact, an artist He was rightly held to be the legitimate 
successor of his famous clubmate, Robert Walker. In general 
character, disposition, and play, the similarity was peculiarly 
manifest. Feinting, swerving, and drawing were striking replicas 
one of the other. Unassuming to a degree, neither had much to 
say, yet at intervals both were rich in snatches of dry humour. 
Each carried the " old head " with an eye to the main chance. 
On many momentous and thrilling occasions each by sheer 
artfulness has secured the " soft " goal (vide the Press) that 
carried victory. Alas ! poor Harry was not destined to reap a 
harvest of laurels such as came the way of his confrere. Ihe 
advent of tne world war found him ranking with his clubmates 
in the x6ih Royal Scot?. He is presumed to have been killed 
at the Somme, 1st July 1916. Comrades have related that 
they saw him fall, but a most careful after search failed to trace 
his body. The ground was ploughed inch by inch with shell fire, 
so that the reason for non-recovery is obvious. Harry was the 
youngest of five brothers, one of whom, the Rev. John Wattie, 
is a ChapUin to the Fleet. Their widowed mother resides in 
Marchmont Road. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Says a leading writer in an English publication — 

Who is there in Scotland, aye, in England too, who does 
not remember the devotion of those gallant professionals.? . . . 
They were the forerunners of the noble army of footballers, 
and, as such, take pride of place. 

From a Western Weekly paper — 

The popular Edinburgh Battalion, the 16th Royal Scots, 
has now left the City. It was raised in less than a fortnight, 
and includes in its ranks the Heart of Midlothian Football 
Club players, who gave the lead to their fellow sportsmen 
throughout the country. 

" No one who knew them could ever forget them, 
Their ways were so cheery, so loving- and kind." 

The patriotic step taken by the players was productive 
of many congratulatory letters and telegrams. 

Lord Anderson (an honoured member of the Scottish Bench ; 
and an old member of the Hearts)— 

Please convey to the Directors and players who have 
joined the Army my heartiest congratulations on the step 
which has been taken. I venture to think that, famed as 
the name of the Club has been in the past, the present patri- 
otic action of the players will give it a far more splendid 
lustre in the future. 

J. M. Hogge, Esq., M.P.— 

Edinburgh folks will forget your patriotic action when 
they agree to root up the Heart of Midlothian in the cause- 
way near St. Giles— and that is never. 

Robt. Campbell, Esq., Perth (Scottish Football Association)— 

Warmly congratulate your players and Club on splendid 
lead. Most appropriate lead should come from this season's 
leading Scottish club, and from Scotland's Capital. 

( Telegram.) 

Thomas Steen, Esq., Ayr (Hon. Treasurer Scottish Football 
Association) — 

Please accept and convey to Directors and players my 
hearty congratulations on the splendid lead given. Hope 
your decision will bring out many other players. 

( Telegram. ) 

The "Hearts " and the Great War 

J. K. M'Dowall, Esq. (Secy. Scottish Football Association) — ■ 
Bravo, Hearts ! I am proud of the old club. ( Telegram.) 

Dr John Smith, Kirkcaldy (a former Scottish Internationalist) — 

With friend M'Dowall I say from the bottom of my heart : 
Good old Hearts ! well played ! I am proud to have been 
at one time a member of your Club. Your players have set 
an example to others that they must follow, and then the 
risk of our good old game becoming as a stink in the nostrils 
of the nation will be swept away. 

W. Ward, Esq., Glasgow (President of Scottish Football 
League) — 

You have indeed given a splendid lead to the other clubs, 
and hope your example will be immediately followed' by 
others. Your action is a proper answer to the stop-the- 
game croakers, and will enlist for the game, and those who 
take part in it, the goodwill of all right-thinking people. 
Hats off to the Patriotic Hearts ! 

Alfred Davis, Esq., Marlowe (one of the English Association's 
Vice-Presidents) — 

Very heartily congratulate your Club on the splendid 
response made by your players to the " call of arms." I 
trust the lead your men have given will be followed by the 
players of England. 

( iiptain D. H. Leslie, Shropshire Light Infantry (Vice-President 
of Shropshire Football Association) — 

That you may be at the top of the League this season is 
the wish of us all. But even if you are not successful in 
heading the table, your fame will be just as great. You set 
the teams of Great Britain a line example, and that is a far 
greater honour than winning any number of football com- 
petitions. My experience of football is fairly extensive, and 
I may say I have never seen a team play the game in a more 
sportsmanlike way than the Heart of Midlothian. 

A. Macadam, Esq., M.R.C.V.S., Bristol— 

The Heart of Midlothian will always be respected and 
live for ever for their patriotism. 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

J. Farrage Ridley, Esq., Rothbury — 

Sincerest congratulations on splendid response. You have 
written one of the finest pages in the history of a famous 
club. All honour to you. 

J. H. Buntzen, Esq., Copenhagen, Denmark — 

I have noticed from one of the papers here that a lot of 
your players have joined the forces. I am glad to see, how- 
ever, that you are still heading the League with something 
to spare. I sincerely hope your boys who have joined the 
colours will cover themselves with glory, and return safe, 
and further assist the Heart of Midlothian with their splendid 

Lauritz Svane, Esq., Copenhagen, Denmark — 

I am glad to know that your fine team has " played up " 
so well. I am quite of the same opinion as you about the 
war, and you remember we spoke about it in June, six weeks 
before war broke out. My fu 1 sympathy is * ith the Tommies 
who are fighting so bravely on the Continent. 

Players who left Tynecastle before the war " took the 
shilling " freely, and several have distinguished themselves 
— notably, Captain the Rev. A. J. Stewart, M.C., Captain 
W. S. Dewar, and Sergeant Roderick Walker, M.M. 

The Directors, too, are worthy their niche in the Temple 
of Fame : — Messrs E. H. Furst, W. Lorimer, Wm. C. Burns, 
W. Brown, and W. T. Drummond. 

At the commencement of hostilities they instantly realised 
their country's needs. The shareholders and adherents were 
with them heart and soul. Solidarity brooks no procrastina- 
tion or equivocation. Men and money were an absolute 
necessity for the weal of the homeland. The pages of this 
narrative show that the last ounce of manhood and the ut- 
most shilling were readily turned over. During the recruiting 
period the Club's premises were placed entirely at the dis- 
posal of the Army authorities. Every assistance and facility 
were freely of fei ed, and as keenly accepted. War Fund matches 
and collections became a most important part of the Club's 
business. Too much credit cannot be given to the concomi- 
tant parts of the Tynecastle institution for the magnificent 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

response to the many and varied appeals made to them 
during the course of the war. 

In proof thereof we here present some particulars showing 
what has actually been realised. The figures do not include 
any sums raised by means of the Rosebery Charity Cup 

War Fund Matches and Sports, £1927, ns. 3d. 
Ot this sum £535, 8s. iod. went to the Red Cross Society, 
and £396, 19s. 6d. to the Belgian Relief Fund. These figures 
are exclusive of the sum realised from the sale of tickets, 
the particulars of which are in the hands of the Societies 
named. The balance of £995, 2s. nd. was distributed amongst 
different War Charities East and West. 

Collections made by the Club on behoof of local charitable 
funds and institutions, £345, 3s. 7d. were disbursed as follows : — 
The Royal Infirmary - - - - - £103 12 9 

The Prince of Wales Fund - 70 

The Belgian Relief Fund - - - - 47 9 10 

The Balance ------- 124 10 

went to the various Children's Institutions in the city. 

Entertainments Tax, recovered from the Customs and 
Excise : £215, 9s. 6d„ and handed over to local charities 
and war funds. 

Collected for Widows - - - - - £64 

Sergeant Tom Collins' Fund, £143, 8s. 3d. 

This em.ut is one of the many bright features of club work. 
Collins, who belonged to the Royal Field Artillery, had 
left Tynecastle several years prior to receiving terrible 
injuries in France. By the bursting of a high explosive 
German shell he lost his left leg and left arm besides receiv- 
ing other minor wounds. In his hour of helplessness Mr. 
W. M'Gregor of Leven initiated a movement to provide 
financial assistance. Mr. M'Gregor enlisted the co-operation 
of the Clubhand the old admirers of Collins made a splendid 
rally — a characteristic trait deeply set in the bosoms of 
Tynecastle habitues. In raising the above sum Messrs J. 
Mackay and W. T. Drummond were herculean workers. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Sergt. Roderick Walker, M.M. 15th Royal Scots, another 
onetime favourite, was also the recipient of kindly recog- 
nition at tne hands of his old employers. 

Donations made by the Club to miscellaneous cases of 
necessity arising from the war : £104, 3s. od. Needless to 
say, this sum would have been much more substantial but 
for the heavy lialibities incurred just prior to the European 
crash of arms. A £12,000 bill, accentuated by heavy interest 
and much heavier Imperial taxation, was not made any lighter 
fey the slump in revenue. Yet we keep smiling through the 
consciousness that we have done our utmost, and are en- 
couraged in our optimism by the knowledge that our work 
has not been in vain. When the day of fruition of gentle 
peace our brethren, relieved of war's equipment, will again 
be found at their Mecca of thrills, excitement, and pleasure. 


(Registered under War Charities Act, 1916). 
£74, us. 2d. 

This amount was raised by collections and donations 
with the view to providing instant financial assistance to any 
of our wounded or their dependants. It has also been the 
channel for securing an assortment of wants and require- 
ments for the men in the trenches : melodeons, mouth organs, 
stationery, pipes, tobacco, soap, flannels, gloves, etc., etc- 
Without being pretentious in its field of operation, the Fund 
has been productive of a relative amount of good. 

Miscellaneous collections have been many, and amongst 
others we quote the following : — 

Federation of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers in 
aid of the Annual Treat to the Children of com- 
rades who have fallen - - - - £34 13 4 
Catholic Huts for Soldiers abroad - - - 26 6 
Incorporated Sailors' and Soldiers' Help Society - 11 
King George's Naval Fund - - - - 6157 
Irish Flag Day - - - - - - -678 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

(Registered under War Charities Act, 1916). 

Total Income to date, £844, ns. o,d. 
Expenditure, £802, 12s. nd. 

One thousand and seventy footballs have been despatched 
each accompanied by a covering letter. The cost of adminis- 
tration is somewhere in the neighbourhood of one per cent. 

Early in the war applications for footballs began to 
pour in at Tynecastle from the soldiers overseas, and from 
sailors of the Navy. The Club stock had been cleared — mostly 
to units training at home. Something had to be done to meet 
the demands of those on active service. The writer made 
an appeal through the columns of the " Edinburgh Evening 
News," and the Editor, in giving publicity to the letter, 
added a footnote suggesting that public subscriptions should 
be sent to Tynecastle, and that the business should be dealt 
with from there. The strong support of the " News," with 
one of its contributors (Diogenes) lending his hearty and 
strenuous aid, saw the scheme launched on a proper working 

It was fitting that the first subscription to the Fund should 
come from the " News " employees. That donation was the 
harbinger of a steady flow of revenue for the maintenance of 
the scheme. Individuals, corporations, public works — aye, 
even the soldiers themselves have vied with each other in 
their efforts of support. The incessant call of our heroes 
caught the ear of many outside Edinburgh. Substantial 
sums have come from London, Liverpool, Newcastle, Glasgow, 
Paisley, Greenock, Leith, Kirkcaldy, Selkirk, GalashieL. 
Inverness, Rosyth, Pumpherston, Coldstream, Bathgate, 
Dunfermline, Gorebridge, Musselburgh, Slateford, Leven, 
Ormiston, Burntisland, Linlithgow, West Calder, Granton, 
Tranent, and a place, they call it — Drumnadrochit. The 
soldiers in France, friends in U.S.A. and West Africa added 
their quota. Just as the subscription field has been wide, 
so has the distribution of the footballs. Practically every 
battalion in the British Forces has benefited. The soldiers 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

oi the French and American Republics, and those of the 
Kingdoms of Belgium, Italy, Serbia, and Greece have 
played with Tynecastle footballs. Members of the Canadian. 
Australian, South African, New Zealand and Indian con- 
tingents have also participated in the benefits of the 
scheme. Letters from all ranks in the Allied Armies 
— the Allied Commander-in-Chief to the humblest Private — 
breathe gratelul thanks and appreciation. Football was 
just the antidote the soldier required. We give quota- 
tions from several of the four thousand communications 
in our possession. These letters are in reality heart ex- 
pressions of our fighting men addressed to a generous 
public, and we ask that they be read as such. 

Marshal Foch, Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Grand 
Armies — 

General Foch thanks you for your letter of June 7, 1918 
announcing that you have sent twelve footballs to him for 
our soldiers. He wishes to thank you for your great gener- 
osity towards our soldiers, who are happy to fight side by 
side with your brave soldiers against the common enemy. 
I have the pleasure to send you the thanks of General Foch 
to which permit me to add my own. The footballs arrived 
to-day, and are now being sent to different fighting units. 

Signed. Chief of Staff. 
Accompanying the letter was General Foch's card, with 
the words, " Avec ses remerciments," and his autograph 
{J. Foch). 
King of the Belgians. 

Major Preudhomme of the Maison Militaire du Roi writes — 

The King has received the twelve footballs that you had 
the kindness to send him for the recreation of Belgian soldiers 
at the front. Very sensible of the sentiments that have 
inspired your gift, and also of the sympathy expressed 
towards Belgium contained in your letter, his Majesty charges 
me to transmit to you his sincere thanks, and to say he will 
be happy to realise your desire. 
-Marshal Joffre, Commander-in-Chief of the French Army — 

The Commander-in-Chief charges me to convey to you hi.s 
thanks for the gift that you have been kind enough to send 
him. He begs you to kindly accept the assurance of his 
most friendly sentiments. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

General Diaz, Commander-in-Chief of the Italian Army — 

Our soldiers appreciate the kindness as it proves the 

sympathy amongst the Allies, especially on the part of the 

British, who are fighting with great valour side by side 

with us for the common cause. 

It is obviously impossible to quote even short extracts 
from all the letters in our possession, but a selection at random 
will prove conclusively that football has played a great and 
important part in the history of the war. The entire stocks 
of tonics and reinvigorating nerve potions of the world's 
pharmacy fall into insignificance when compared with the 
stimulating football. The much-discussed " tot of rum ,y 
had no backers when a football was about. Wearied and 
exhausted men, on their return to rest camps after long 
spells in the trenches, were instantly revivified by the sight 
of a ball. The filling up of shell holes — hard and laborious 
work — became child's play in the formation of a pitch. The 
roar of guns and occasional shell visitors could not damp 
the ardour of these brave lads. Twenty players on each side 
and a game lasting four hoars raised enthusiasm to a tre- 
mendous height. The gladiators fell asleep arguing the point 
and discussing incidents what time Fritz and Jerry were elab- 
orating plans of murder and frightfulness. Comparison 
with the craven heart of a murderer, as against that of the 
buoyant sportsman is odious. The sporting instinct of the 
British soldier is an asset no laboratory of demonism 
could ever hope to counteract. Sportsmen — every one a 
brother — make the world sublime and fall of happiness, 
brightness and splendour, where only universal love and 
esteem may reign. The militarist, with his engines of destruc- 
tion fetching death and desolation to mankind, produces but 
a vale of tears. 

But let our heroes speak for themselves — 

Coy.-Sergt .-Major Munro, 7th Seaforths, France — 

I can assure you the boys will spend a good time when 
they leave the trenches. They are dodging all kinds of balls 
at present which will keep them in form for the great event 
— Hearts and Hibs. One can hardly think we are fighting 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

in a great war, especially when the discussion arises about 
football and favourite teams and players. 

Privates Sharp and M'Cardle, 2nd Royal Scots, France — 
You can rest assured that the football will be enjoyed a* 
we have just finished twenty- six days in the trenches, and 
although it has been a bit costly, they (the Huns) can make 
no impression on the good old 2nd Royal Scots. (Pte. 
McCardle has since given his life.) 

Corporal Dougherty, 1st Camerons, France — 

The ball is the chief source of enjoyment amongst the 

Driver Blair, 34th Siege Battery, R.G.A., France — 

We are chasing the leather at the back of the line, with 
the guns going like thunder. Time will never hang heavily 
when we have a chance of indulging in the good old game. 

Driver Lothian, 1st H.L.I. , France — 

The ball was no sooner received than a match was arranged 
with the Gurkhas. We enjoyed it immensely, but we had 
to retire for half an hour on account of shells from Fritz. 
The Gurkhas are very good players, and take a keen interest 
in the game. 

Private Badenoch, M.G.C., 9th Seaforths, France — 

As I write the Huns are treating us to a few lines from 
their " Hymn of Hate," in the shape of whizz-bangs. We 
expect to be relieved shortly, and anticipate many pleasant 
hours with the ball. 

Lance-Gorpl. M'Gravie, 2nd K.O.S.B., France — 

The football came to hand in the trenches, and the boys 
are in the seventh heaven of delight at the prospect of a 
game. No words of mine can express their joy. 

C-Q.-M.-Sergt. Doherty, 10th H.L.I. , France- 
No matter how tired we may be, we are always ready for 
a game. 

Private Brown, M.T., A.S.C., France- 
Football arrived in time to save the situation. Likely to 
be a riot over a football argument, so to settle the matter, 
a match. Ammunition Shifters v. File Shovers was instantly 
arranged. The shell men won, and all was peace. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Private Whitson, 2nd Royal Scots, France — 

I jam one of twenty-five snipers, and lack amusement 
so send us a ball. We shall arrange a match — Prussian 
Guards v. Us. Ground in Belgium. Kaiser referee. Crown 
Prince will present machine guns and bombs to the winners 

Corporal Briggs, 16th Royal Scots, France — 

Many, many thanks for ball. Had our first match with it, 
and playing in army boots, we were like a lot of " Clydes- 
dales." Football is the game to keep us fit, and raises 
enthusiasm that may prove bad for the Germans. 

Rev. Hugh Brown, Chaplain to the Forces, France — 

Your ball was held over for the final tie, and I can assure 
you that if the kind friends who make those gifts possible 
could have witnessed the contest and the enthusiasm of these 
lads, and the crowd of officers and men, they would have 
felt they had done a bit to fit the men for their great tasks. 

Sergt. Johnson, H.M.S. " Marylebone," Rouen — 

When I gave the Coy. the ball, and read them your letter, 
they gave vent to their feelings in loud acclamations : " Good 
old M — — & Co., and for about five minutes I imagined I 
was sitting in Tynecastle grand stand. 

Gunner Jordan, R.G.A., Aden, Arabia— 

Sincerest thanks. We have not lost a game with your 
ball, even after chasing the Turks and hostile Arabs thirty 
miles from tins part. 

Sergt. Judd, 2nd Scottish Rifles, France — 

The ball helps to pass what would be a monotonous hour, 
and it gives the soldiers great pleasure to see how patriotic 
the people are at home. 

Sergt. Lapham, R.A.M.C, France — 

Most kind and thoughtful of you and the good people at 

Private Leith, 7th Royal Scots Fusiliers, France — 

I am lucky to have come through safely at Hill 70 and 
Loos so as to thank you for fine ball. Just had a rousing 
game, where some hard blows were given and taken. 

Bandsman Lindsay, 27th Divisional Band, France — 

The football is the thing, and it is enjoyed. How the 
French people scream and roar when they see one of us flop 
in the mud. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Private Lightbody, 2nd Gordon Highlanders, France — 

You do not know how glad we were when we saw your 
ball. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Driver Maxwell, 66 Brigade R.F.A., Egypt — 

Gone mad over the ball. Were playing with paper balls 
aboard ship before we landed here. 

Sergt.-Major Marchant, R.G.A., France — 

Sincerest thanks for football. Nothing more appreciated 
than a " Kick at the ball." We deplore the death of our 
old favourite, Tom Gracie. It came as a great surprise to 
most of us here. 

Driver M'Kay, R.G.A., France — 

We are having a great game here. We have two goals 
to defend — Calais and Paris. One thing is certain, we are 
the winning team. Our forwards have great dash, and our 
defence is splendid. The Germans are poor stayers. Your 
ball keeps us in trim for the more important game mentioned. 

Driver M'Hale, 35th Brigade, R.F.A., France- 
Believe me, you are the means of making the men forget 
the hardships they are going through, for no sooner have 
they got a few minutes to themselves then they are kicking 
the ball, or somebody else. 

Private Prior, 2nd Scots Guards, France — 

I am sure it is very good of the people at home remember- 
ing us with comforts and footballs. I am also glad football 
is being carried on in Scotland, as the boys are so interested 
in getting results, and then for the arguments. 

Private Rutherford, 2nd Canadians, France— 

We are delighted with the ball, and have just had a game 
in a blinding snowstorm. Our clothes are plastered with 
mud and wringing wet, yet we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly. 

Sergt. Reid, 28th Brigade, R.G.A., France — 

Needless to say we have given the football a trial — in fact 
it was out at daybreak following its arrival. I am afraid 
you would have felt flattered could you have heard the many 
remarks that were passed concerning your kindness. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Private Robertson, 9th Royal Scots, France— 

The ball was not long in the paper, and ten minutes suf- 
ficed for us to give it its baptism of fire in France. We did 
not halt till it was dark, and even then we were loath to 
leave it. 

Private Sharp, 1st Scots Guards, Prisoner of War, Schneid- 
emuhl, Germany — 

The ball is just what we wanted, and I can assure you 
it was very acceptable. 

M. Tirol, French Prisoner of War, Munster, Germany — 

Most thankful for magnificent ball you sent, and we 
greatly appreciate your kindness. It will help us pass the 
time quickly, and keep us in good form for the time of our 
return home. 

Private Armstrong, 43rd Canadians, France — 

Grateful thanks. Ball certainly a boon, and did come in 
handy. Lightens the monotony of this horrible place. 

Seaman Braide, H.M.S. "Lion" — 

Very gratifying to the boys to know and feel that the 
folks at home are ever mindful of them. The ball will serve- 
to keep us fit for the final tie in the Polo tournament v. the 

S. G. Bloom, Royal Naval Division, Prisoner of War, Guben, 
Germany — 

My comrades' sincere thanks. It will help us to pass 
many an otherwise weary hour. Hope am in time to see 
you win the Scottish Cup. 

Lieut. Griffith, 3rd Army, France— 

To the immense joy of the men the ball arrived, and I 
am deeply grateful to you. 

Bugler Beveridge, 1st Scottish Rifles, France — 

When I opened the parcel and pulled out the bail there 
was absolutely no holding the boys. Only imminent dark- 
ness prevented a game right away. 

Private Blair, 3/4th Royal Scots Fusiliers, Salonika — 

I assure you it would have done you good to have heard 
the boys cheer, after producing the ball and reading your 
letter. (This gallant lad later made the supreme sacrifice. 
He was a shareholder at Tynecastle.) 

The " Hearts " and the Great War 

Lance-Corpl. Bremner, ioth Black Watch, Salonika — 

No statement of mine could convey the good words and 
good wishes they had for you. We shall never forget your 

Private Connell, 1/4 Royal Scots Fusiliers, France — 

When I read your letter to the boys in the trenches and 
showed them the ball, three cheers were given the sender, 
altho' the Germans were shelling us hard at the time. 

Corpl. Groves, 2nd Royal Scots, France— 

In returning thanks for the ball the Corporal says : — Tel] 
Geordie Sinclair this letter is from the Piper who shook hands 
with him when he rode past the Royal Scots on the day 
after Mons. 

Sergt. Hill, 2nd Argyll & Sutheriands. Prisoner of War. 
Minden, Germany — 

Acknowledging a ball, he was so grieved to hear about 
poor Harry Wattie. " We played together as children." 

Lieut. Cairns, R.A.M.C, France — 

Thanks for kindness. The men require something tu 
brighten things up, and I really think you deserve all the 
thanks possible for such practical gifts. 

Coy.-Sgt .-Major Connor, 17th Royal Scots (Bantams) France- 
When we got your ball we soon made some of our taller 
opponents sit up. We had just been to the waist in water 
and mud before we met and beat the A.S.C 

Lieut.-Colonel Donaldson, 19th Royal Scots, France- 
Still on lines of communication, and the men are anxious 
for play-time. Many and sincere thanks. You may well 
be proud of your wonderful record of footballs sent out 

Private Edington, 6th Camerons, France — 

We were like a lot of school children when ball arrived 
Hope it won't be long ere we can get back to Tynecastle. 
(A Club shareholder, this hero has fallen in action.) 

Sergt.-Major Arnold, R.M.A., H.M.S. " Repulse "— 
Heartiest thanks for ball. 

(Letter is endorsed by the officers over the quotation : — 
M quod bonum, felix, faustumque sit.") 

The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Captain Carnochan, 0/C M.M.G. Battery, France — 

The men soon forget their hardships when a game of 
" footer " is set agoing, and one thing I like to see is the 
look of happiness on their faces. " Work hard, and play 
hard " is the sovereign remedy for all ills, in my opinion. 

Lieut. Hepburn, 2/6th West Yorks, France — 

If you had seen the smiling faces that greeted me when 
I produced your football, your heart would have rejoiced. 

(The gallant officer, a one time member of the Edinburgh 
Police Force, has since given his life.) 

Private Hardie, i/4th Royal Scots, Palestine-— 

Dying to get a kick at your ball, but ground is awiuL 
They say this is the Holy Land, but, so far, it has not come 
up to our expectations. 

(This letter is signed by sixty-five soldiers of the Battalion.) 

Gunner Lomax, 30th Battery, Canadian F.A., France — 

If you could only be here for a few moments you would 
feel that your generosity had been amply repaid. Truly 
your gallant players made an unanswerable retort to Kill- 
joys and fireside fighters. A few hours out here would do 
these latter gentry a lot of good. It would broaden their 
minds, and help make this world, already so full of sorrows, 
a much less gloomy place to live in. 

Gunner Malcolm, 115th Anti-Aircraft Section, France — 

We have only to express a wish, there are so many 
kind people in Edinburgh ever ready to promptly respond. 
No wonder we are so proud to call ourselves the " Edinburgh 

Lieut. Moore, Machine Gun Corps, France — 

Officers and men desire to tender heartiest thanks. Noth- 
ing to equal football for keeping men fit. 

Captain Adam, 0/C i/i Armoured Train, France- 
Have to express on behalf of the men and myself sincere- 
and grateful thanks for your kind gift. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Private Riddle, R.A.M.C, Macedonia — 

After stating that they had heard of a mail boat going 
down, he says : — We got anxious about our ball (the letter 
announcing its despatch being received by a previous mail), 
but if it should be " tin-fished," we have the consolation 
of knowing that we are not forgotten in such a country as 

Rev. L. McLean Watt, Chaplain to the Forces, France— 

Go on with the good work. It is one way of helping to 
win the victory. 

These extracts, we affirm, are conclusive proof of the 
efficacy of football. As already indicated, the quotations are 
but a mere fraction of the grand total. Many of them bear 
the signatures of from one to eighty men, thus implying, by 
a moderate estimate, that thousands have been cheered and 
gladdened through the Tynecastle fund. The cheerfulness has 
not been all on one side, for have not the kind hearts at home 
been equally just as pleased to find the necessary capital. To 
the eternal credit of the citizens and district friends, they saw 
to it that Jack and Tommy were assured of their footballs. 

We have critics who suggest that too much has been made 
of this element of sport in relation to the fighting man. With 
the exception of the effeminate curate they belong to the 
exclusive set of elderly sixties and youthful seventies who 
frolic and gambol in the aristocratic parlour at ping pong, or 
become breezy over an exciting tidley-wink contest. They 
pstill crackers for exercise, and wear paper hats as a preven- 
titive to ice rinks forming on their domes. Seriously speaking, 
these dismal Jimmies have only one fighting garment— sack- 
cloth and ashes. Youthful exuberance fired with zeal, energy, 
and exercise can alone win the war. The athlete you simply 
cannot subdue. The phlegmatic is beaten before he commen- 
ces. Contributors to the Fund are numbered by the thousand- 
The administrators are profoundly grateful for the valuable 
assistance of the many voluntary workers, and keenly appre- 
ciate the kindness of every individual who helped even to 
the matter of a single penny. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

The principal subscriptions are : — 
Private R. C. F. Hyslop - - - - - £182 18 5 
Tramway Co. — sale of penny tickets - - - 132 8 
North British Rubber Works — Employees - - 44 10 10 

Coldstream Band Concert, per George. B. Smitk - 32 13 8 

Ye Olde Hearts Association, per T. N. Thomson - 18 4 9 

David Ireland, Ryehill Terrace, Leith - - - 14 

Tynecastle Bowlers, per J. Dods - - - 13 10 

Scottish Motor Traction Co., Ltd., per J. Thomson 12 7 

J. Barnie, Straiton Place, Portobello - - - 12 

Brown Brothers., Ltd., per D. Reid - - 11 13 9 

C. Blackhall, a Hearts' Soldier player - - - 114 8 

Edinburgh Tramway Coy's Staff - - - - 1130 

Ramage & Ferguson, Employees, per W. Stuart - 110 9 

W. Henderson, Edinburgh, Collected at Greenock - 10 14 

Private R. C. F. Hyslop, Canadian Infantry, now resident 
at 5 Harrison Road, Edinburgh has proved himself a superb 
worker. Invalided out of the Colonial Forces as physically 
unfit, he set himself to do what he could from the confines of 
his little wheel-chair. The football instinct was strong within 
him, and he knew exactly the soldiers' sedative. He is a 
familiar figure sitting at the door of his home with his " Foot- 
balls for Soldiers " collection box beside him, the while he is 
writing letters and sending subscription sheets broadcast. 
His total of £182, 18s. 5d. includes sums from Colonial Pre- 
miers and Statesmen. Amongst the public works and various 
business concerns he has been most successful. His inestim- 
able services can hardly be measured in words. Private 
Hyslop, despite his serious handicap, has done magnificently. 
He holds a firm place in the hearts of all — soldier and admini- 
strator alike. 

Others who have worked hard, and are entitled to heartiest 
thanks : — 

Messrs C. Aitken, D. Allan, J. Brown, J. Blackhall, J. 
Bruce, W. Brown, G. Chisholm, D. Dippie, Lance-Corpl. J. 
Grant, P. Herd, J. D. Hunter, A. Hamilton, G. Hendry 
(Livingstone Station), R. Herkes, G. Johnston, J. Linton 
(Pumpherston), W. Milne, J. Martin, T. M'Kenzie (Jr.), T 
Paterson, D. Peffers, A. Peffers, W. Renton, D. Riddle, J. G; 
Robertson, R. Smith, R. Scott, J. Thomson, W. Torlrington, 
G. L. Thomson, R. Watt. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Subscribers direct to the Fund include : — 

Right Hon. Lord Rosebery, K.T., Lord Anderson, the late 
Sir M. Mitchell-Thomson, Bart., Sir John Cowan, Sir Robt. 
Maule, C. E. Price, Esq., ex-M.P., J. M. Hogge, Esq., M.P., 
and Capt. G. E. Crabbie. 

Tribute is also due to the girl collectors at the football 
matches, and to the boys and girls who provided back court 
concerts — all of whom did splendidly. 

* * * 

After reading the particulars herein set forth, who can 
gainsay but that there is a close affinity between His Majesty's 
Forces and the Heart of Midlothian Football Club— a connec- 
tion that will be remembered and recounted with pride in the 
decades to come. 

Since the foregoing was written a new and a brighter 
world has dawned upon us. Like her dupes Germany is now 
in the melting pot. Her scheme to Kultur the universe has 
''gone west." What otherwise was possible, if we are to 
believe the biblical dictum : — M He that leadeth into cap- 
tivity shall go into captivity : he that killeth with the sword 
must be killed with the sword." 

Blasphemy, hypocrisy, frightfulness, and murder — the 
roots of Kultur — must never again be allowed to show their 
heads. To resist contamination of our fair world from such 
awful ethics is our sacred trust. 

Let us tend and protect the 

Tree of Liberty. 
" Without this tree, alack, this life 
Is but a vale of woe : 
A scene o' sorrow mixed wi* strife, 
Nae real joys we know. 
Wi' plenty o' sic trees I trow 
The world would live in peace, 
The sword would help to rnak' a plough. 
The din o' war would cease. 
Like brethren in a common cause, 
We'd on each other smile, 
And equal rights and equal laws 
Would gladden every isle." — (Burns.) 

The " Hearts " and the Great War 
An Appreciation. 

By Lt.-Col. Sir George M'Crae, D.S.O., The Royal Scots. 

In the closing months oi 19 14 much recrimination was hurled 
at the devotees of the world of sport, and they were freely 
charged with reluctance to do their bit in the great world war. 
Much of that criticism was ungenerous and unfair, made with- 
out knowledge of what had been done by the individual. 

The raising of a new Kitchener Battalion in Edinburgh 
gave opportunity of showing of what stuff Scotland's foot- 
ballers were made. The Heart of Midlothian players made 
generous response to my appeal for recruits, and a whole 
company was rapidly raised, including some players from 
other teams in Scotland. 

The " 'Hearts' " Company has earned never-dying fame in 
a Battalion which embraced some of the finest material that 
the British Army has ever seen. It was a great combination 
— a Company of students from Edinburgh University and the 
training colleges, the " Hearts' " Company, two Companies 
of artizans — all welded together by ardous training into a very 
fine Battalion. The Battalion has given a good account of 
itself in many a hard-fought engagement, and where danger 
has been greatest and the shells falling thickest — there* has 
the " Hearts " been — all " Forwards " then. Their losses, 
like that of the Battalion, have been severe. 

But the glory of it shall never fade, and to those of us who 
are left, the comradeship and good feeling which pervaded all 
ranks will ever be a happy recollection. 

We are proud of our fallen heroes. They have made the 
supreme sacrifice willingly, gladly, for a great cause. 

Their memory shall be ever green. Their deeds a stimulus 
to like effort to all who follow in their train. 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

A Pressman's Tribute. 

By " Diogenes," Edinburgh Evening News. 
When Mr. M'Cartney asked me to pen a few lines by way 
of recalling the impressions of a more or less intelligent on- 
looker — the man who " sees most of the game " — of the manner 
in which " the Hearts saved football," I turned to that purest 
source of inspiration, the files of a daily newspaper. I would 
like to let you know, as a stimulus to that most fickle thing, 
the publk memory, what I found in the columns of the " Even- 
ing News " undei date Kovembei 25, 19 14, the day on which 
the Tynecastle heroes took their momentous step, the step 
which " saved the game." I found a heavily leaded para- 
graph under bold black headings : A Football Sensation : 
Eleven Hearts' Players Enlist. Of that more anon. What did I 
further find ? That a battle on which the fate of the world 
may have turned was raging at Ypres, that the Belgian port 
of Zeebrugge was in possession of the Germans, and was being 
bombarded from the sea by the British Fleet, that the Ger- 
mans were making a bid for Calais, that a " Zepp." had been 
doing murderous work over Warsaw, that a raiding German 
cruiser had found a number of victims in the distant seas, 
that the French steamer, " Amiral Ganteaume," had been tor- 
pedoed and sunk with a great loss of life, and that, perhaps 
most significant of all, an ^engagement was proceeding at 
Hamman's Kraall between loyal and rebel South Africans. It 
brought the war near home to ljarn that there were fears of 
a raid on the Forth. There were few lights, many shades on 
the picture. We may not have fully comprehended the sig- 
nificance of that Ypres battle but, at all events, we had gone 
past the time when J off re was popularly believed by a san- 
guine public to be "luring them on." The fog of war had 
lifted sufficiently to enable us to realise its deadly perils. 


It was under such circumstances that the eleven Hearts' 
players enlisted. The eleven did not exhaust Tynecastle's 
enlistment, they were merely the first big contribution. The 
men did a bold thing. Many of them have paid for their 
venture with their lives. There appeared in the following 
evening's paper a group photograph of the men who had 
enlisted overnight. Three men standing in the back of 
the picture were Ellis, Gracie, and Gurrie, all three long 
since dead, three of the " Scots Who Have Died For Their 


The "Hearts" and the Great War 

Country," to quote a headline which is, unhappily, too 
familiar to every Edinburgh newspaper reader. It was a 
magnificant bit of heroism, the spontaneous action of the 
eleven players. All the tinsel that used to garnish war had 
long since been worn off. Other men in like circumstances 
sheltered themselves under the sacredness of their contract 
with their clubs, the clubs pleaded the sacredness of their 
contract with their players. The Heart of Midlothian club 
and its players scouted the sacredness of a football contract, 
their contract was with their country. The country needed 
the men, the club and its players stood out as professional 
football's first big contribution to the common cause. Inci- 
dentally they " saved the garne." 


It had been resolved that the game should be " carried 
on." The soundness of the decision is not disputed now, and 
need not be debated. But whereas indoors entertainments 
might be expedient, out-of-doors sports were more or less 
under taboo, and football, the most popular of all British 
sports, was singled out for criticism and abuse. It seemed, 
from what one read and heard, that it was almost as import- 
ant to " stop football " as to win the war. Its value as a 
soothing influence on over-wrought human material had not 
yet been recognised, its potentialities as a hindrance to recruit- 
ing were ridiculously over state^. But the point was that a 
sport which had assumed the dimensions of a legitimate 
industry was in danger of being ruthlessly cast out to placate 
a noisy minority. The action of the Hearts altered all that. 
It forestalled by a single day a question in Parliament having 
for its object the summary stoppage of the game, and, happily, 
Mr Asquith was well posted up, the then Prime Minister, 
giving a reply which silenced the critics. It was felt that 
what Edinburgh was doing to-day the rest of the country 
would do to-morrow. To be candid it was a rather belated 
to-morrow that found the lead generally followed, the shadow 
of conscription was not yet cast before, but in time football's 
contribution to the forces ceased to be spasmodic and became 
regularised, and football honours its heroic dead and boasts 
its no less heroic living. A £12,000 team at Tynecastle was 
lost to the game, but none will gainsay but that the loss has 
long since proved to be the gain to the game. And " Lest 
We Forget " will never have occasion to be written with 
regard to the action of the Heart of Midlothian Club and 
players. The public, local and general, will never forget.